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December 3, 2015 7:39 am

Salon’s Hate for Israel Shines Through in New Article

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Pre-state Israel/British Mandate of Palestine, 1947. Photo: Wikipedia.

Pre-state Israel/British Mandate of Palestine, 1947. Photo: Wikipedia.

Ben Norton at Salon wrote an incredibly one-sided, anti-Israel piece about the partition of the British Mandate of Palestine.

The headline already tells you where this is going:

U.N. voted to partition Palestine 68 years ago, in an unfair plan made even worse by Israel’s ethnic cleansing 

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Norton quotes Ilan Pappe, the self-confessed twister of history, to prove his own preconceived notions are true. (See Benny Morris’ expose about Pappe  here.)

I found one of Norton’s links to be emblematic of his dishonesty.

He wrote that Zionism is “a settler colonialist Jewish nationalist political movement,” and he links to a book about Theodor Herzl for the words “settler colonialist.”

That book shows that Herzl wrote (but never sent) a letter to Cecil Rhodes, British imperialist whom Rhodesia was named after, almost begging for help in getting his support for a Jewish state in Palestine. Herzl is practically mimicking Rhodes’ words to get him to sign on. At one point Herzl writes :

You are being invited to help make history….It is not in your accustomed line, it does not involve Africa, but a piece of Asia Minor; not Englishmen, but Jews….How, then, do I happen to turn to you, since this is an out-of-the-way matter for you? How indeed? Because it is something colonial…

Herzl is using the language of imperialism to gain the support of an imperialist. This does not prove that Zionism is imperialist.

And the proof is at the end of the quoted passage:

What is the plan? To settle Palestine with the homecoming Jewish people.

If the Jews are returning home, this is not colonialism — this is a national liberation movement. Colonialism requires a metropole, or a mother country — the Jewish state does not, because its center of existence is in Israel itself.

So Norton’s own source proves him wrong.

This is hardly the most dishonest part. But they all add up:

Why were the Arabs angry? Because, for the indigenous Palestinians, the deal was a thoroughly bad one. Palestinians comprised approximately two-thirds of the population, yet were offered just 43 percent of their land in the deal.

He doesn’t mention that most of the land allocated for Jews was desert.

The Partition Plan was never implemented, however. The very next day after it was voted on, the 1947-1948 war broke out.

And who started that war, only hours after the partition vote? Funny how Norton doesn’t want to mention that, but rather implies that Jews started the war — which he then characterizes as “In this war, Zionist militias systematically ethnically cleansed large portions of historic Palestine.” Besides lying about what “historic Palestine” is, he is lying about the “ethnic cleansing.” Most Arabs fled, especially the first wave before Plan Dalet, which he mischaracterizes again as a plan of ethnic cleansing.

He ends up with an interestingly twisted view of history, saying on one hand that Israel fulfilled its colonialist desires by taking over all of Palestine in 1967, but then saying that today Israel is increasing its control over the West Bank and Gaza. But I thought they stole full control of those lands in 1967?! What possibly could have happened in between where Israel had to re-take all that land that it mysteriously lost control of? And if the Israeli military/colonialist/terrorist machine wants all that land, then what is stopping it?

That omission is all you need to know about his dishonest views. Israel’s giving away land it controlled in Egypt, Gaza, Lebanon, and the West Bank in hopes of peace is not mentioned — because those facts are too inconvenient for the article’s thesis of the evil, land-stealing Zionist Jew.

Salon of course is hardly a bastion of objectivity regarding Israel — in 2012 they struck a deal with the antisemitic Mondoweiss site to provide content.

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  • Sherlock Holmes

    One needs only a few facts to answer Ben Norton. During the five centuries that Ottoman Turkey ruled the Middle East, ‘Palestine’ was better known as Southern Syria. Ottoman Turkey knew of no separate Palestinian Arab nationality. Regarding the League Mandate for Palestine about 77% was given to create the Arab judenrein Kingdom of [Trans]Jordan, leaving about 23% for the area of the Jewish national home on the West Bank. There are 20+ Arab states which could have helped fellow Arabs who left Israel in 1948, much as Israel accepted most of the 800,000 Jews pushed out of Arab countries where Jews had lived for millennia. President Abbas explaned that his family fled Sefat fearing Jewish retaliation for earlier Arab massacres of Jews. Some Arabs were pushed out of Israel as a fifth column, but most Arabs who fled wanted to help fight against the creation of the Jewish state. 67 years later they are still held in refugee camps by their fellow Arabs

  • Substance aside, this should have better editing so that material can not be taken out of context, viz. “the evil, land-stealing Zionist Jew” could be read as an absolute. Use phrases such as “the historically distorted statement
    that….etc.” I trust you will take this observation in a helpful manner.

  • Uriel Priwes

    This jerk could have given lessons to Joseph Gobbels!!!

  • Uriel Priwes

    Norton could have given lessons to Joseph Gobbels!!

  • ART

    There are a few amazing things about the Mid east horrors and leftist response. The depth of leftist hatred of Israel and Jews, Israel has deep socialist roots as opposed to the tribal bigoted arab world And the love the left has developed with for hamas. hezzbouleh,isis, various jihadi groups all of which are the antithesis of the left and all of which would gladly kill the leftist once their usefulness is finished. How well would, feminists, aethieists, LBGTers, black lives matter people,or progressives fare in Iran, under hamas, under Isis, in saudi arabia etc.?

  • Yale

    “Palestine” is a name invented by the Roman Empire, so it is itself an imperialist invention. Other European imperialists utilized this name throughout the centuries that Jews referred to the same land as Eretz Yisrael. Referring to the Land now as “Palestine” remains imperialist.

    The real ringer is that because the Arabic alphabet has no “P”, for the Arabs to call this land “Palestine” means they are adopting the terminology of the imperialists. They are also doing something no other ethnic group has ever done: using a name for themselves and “their” country that cannot be written in their language.

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